Dark Waters (2019)
Directed by Todd Haynes (Far from Heaven , Carol ) and based on a magazine article that tells of a true story of one corporate lawyer who challenged a multi-billion chemical empire, Dark Waters focuses on Rob Bilott (Mark Ruffalo) who travels to his home town in West Virginia to discover evidence of gross environmental damage caused by a huge corporation, DuPont. His neighbour’s cattle is dying, water is turning dark and people have health problems in the area. Bilott picks up a Tennant case, thinking it will be over in a matter of months, but the case snowballs over the years as more horrific secrets are uncovered. The concerned lawyer, who is always supported by his wife Sarah (Anne Hathaway), is passionately searching for answers and explanations as the corporation first refuses to admit responsibility and then makes it difficult for numerous victims to seek justice and restitution.
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I would like to begin this review by saying that I am a big admirer, even a fan, of Jason Reitman’s work. I think his previous films “Thank You for Smoking” (2005), “Juno” (2007) and “Up in the Air” (2009) are great examples of a particular kind of comedy, where he managed to successfully turn difficult issues into fun and entertaining cinematic material. “Tully” is his newest film, which was penned by Diablo Cody, the screenwriter of “Juno” and “Young Adult” (2011). “Tully” is about a mother of three, Marlo (Charlize Theron), who struggles with her hectic parenthood when she decides to get a night nanny for her new-born girl. After that, Marlo seems to breathe easier and the nanny, Tully (Mackenzie Davis), provides a huge relief for the family, maybe until Marlo and Tully’s ties become too close. “Tully” is an insightful little film and Theron and Davis’s performances are strong, but, as with “Labour Day” (2014), Reitman still faults when it comes to presenting real drama (even though he still excels with his insight and satire).
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‘Caramel’ is the first feature film of a Lebanese director Nadine Labaki which follows the lives of five Lebanese women, three of which are working in a beauty salon ‘Si Belle’ in Beirut, Lebanon. Each of the five women has her own problem: Layale (Nadine Labaki) has the affair with a married man; Nisrine, soon to be married to a man from a strict Muslim family, does not know how to tell him he will not be her first; Rima seems to be attracted to women; Jamale, a separated mother of two, fancies herself as a great actress; and, finally, Rosa, an elderly tailoress, experiences insecurities as she falls for a new salon customer. Despite being from different social and religious backgrounds, the women share close friendship, which helps them get through many life difficulties.
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